One of the greatest footballers of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo, landed in uncharted territory as he joined Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr in ‘jackpot deal’. His move to the Middle East as a professional footballer did raise quite a few eyebrows but Ronaldo seemed to have had his reasons. The Portuguese superstar described himself as a “unique player” and insisted his career was not over as he arrived at his new club on Tuesday.
The Portuguese forward, 37, has signed a huge deal estimated at 200 million euros ($211m) after glittering spells at Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus.
“I’m a unique player. It’s good to come here, I broke all the records there (in Europe) and I want to break a few records here,” Ronaldo told the media at Al Nassr’s Mrsool Park stadium.
“I’m coming here to win, to play, to enjoy, to be part of the success of the country and culture of the country,” he added.
It looked like Ronaldo might continue in Europe for one or two more years but reported ‘lack of interest’ in his services saw him eventually sign for a Saudi Arabian club. But, according to the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner, he turned down a swathe of offers from Europe and elsewhere to join the deep-pocketed Saudis.
“In Europe my work is done,” he said, adding: “I had many offers in Europe, many in Brazil, Australia, the US, even in Portugal.
“Many clubs tried to sign me but I gave my word to this club, for the opportunity to have not only football but (to be) part of this amazing country. And for me it was a challenge,” he said.
Ronaldo has already been presented as an Al-Nassr player in a huge gathering. He could be available for selection in the club’s next match on January 05 but is unlikely to feature, having not gotten training sessions under his belt yet.